By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
In this column, I will continue using acronyms to spell out the words BLACK BELT, as they relate to teams and leadership. This month, I’ll address the second “B,” which stands for balance.
In this regard, we are discussing balancing benevolence and self–focus within your organization(s).
Benevolence is one of our tenets at TNT Jujitsu here in Houston. Our instructor, Hanshi Torey, often emphasizes the merits of being kind, but he also warns that kindness should have limits. As leaders and business owners, your profits and business development are important. Many of us, however, struggle and even lose sleep over making difficult decisions.
Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with putting your fiscal and physical health first. I remember my parents having a couple of regular customers at their liquor store who always wanted a discount or favor. My parents were quite kind about it — until the day when one of...
By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.
While you won’t be reading this column until winter is in everyone’s rearview mirror, I’m penning this work on Valentine’s Day. This is an appropriate day to discuss your professional relationships, both how to make them prosper and, perhaps, how to end them.
As a business owner, your professional relationships with attorneys and accountants is vital. In many ways, these professionals are your unofficial, but de-facto, business partners. I know of few successful businesses, even small martial arts schools, that do not have both a trusted accountant and attorney on speed dial.
Personally speaking, new clients come to me strictly on referrals from satisfied clients. I’m fortunate to initially have the built-in bona-fides of a positive and trusted referral. My clients are happy with the services I provide. It is seldom that I voluntarily terminate a client, or vice-versa, but it does happen. Like any important...
By Terry L. Wilson
The Ultimate Challenge
Veteran ninja Hakim Isler had very little interest in becoming a celebrity when he submitted an application to the producers of the hit reality television series Naked and Afraid.
What started as a good-natured verbal sparring contest between a ninja and his Special Forces buddy evolved into one of the most exciting episodes in the history of the show. It also launched Isler onto a new career path as a TV celebrity, survival instructor, public speaker and survival-course creator.
“I contacted the show as a joke because a Special Forces friend of mine dared me to do it,” explains Isler. It was one Alpha male daring another Alpha male. So that night I went online and filled out an application form for the show.”
Predictably, the producers of Naked and Afraid jumped at the chance to have a real-life ninja who was also a Psychological Operations soldier and survival specialist on their survival series.
By Joshua Page
Being a Black Belt Inside and Outside the School
As instructors, we spend a great deal of time trying to develop our students into black belts. We equip them to deal with all types of dangerous situations and attacks. We arm them with kicks, punches, throws and submissions.
Even the mental side of self-defense is addressed, like how to keep calm under pressure and dealing with overwhelming odds. All this takes place while developing humility and learning the importance of constant improvement. These lessons are powerful and life-changing, and prepare our students for adversity on the practice mat and in the arena of sport.
We spend thousands of hours redefining techniques, perfecting form, and forging the absolute best martial artists we can. The results can be truly amazing. The transformation from a day-one student to a black belt is, at times, awe-inspiring.
When you see those students on the mats training and teaching, they seem to have a certain air about...
By Dave Kovar
In 1958, Vince Lombardi took over as head coach of the Green Bay Packers pro football team. The Packers had not done well since 1944. In a press conference, Mr. Lombardi was asked what he was going to do to turn around this bunch of mediocre players.
He responded by saying, “I’m not going to change anything. I’m just going to make them brilliant in the basics.”
From there the legend grew and, by 1967, the Packers had won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls.
The concept of being “brilliant in the basics“ is pretty universal and certainly applies to running a martial arts school and teaching great classes. I recently had a conversation with one of my clients who was contemplating closing his second location because his attendance was dwindling and he was losing money. We discussed a few strategies that he could implement to help him get turned around, and then he got to work.
A couple of months...
By Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
In this column, I will continue using acronyms to spell out the words BLACK BELT, as they relate to teams and leadership. This month, I’ll address “A” for attitude.
Your attitude, of course, is essential to successful leadership and building great teams. Attitude’s two very important components are acumen and adaptability.
First, a quick story. My 5th-grade teacher was named Mr. George Pope. He was a passionate, gregarious and caring person who always pushed us to excel. One day, we were being unruly and he decided to teach us a lesson about attitude.
The lesson was simple but exceedingly difficult. Our participation in recess was dependent upon class behavior. I remember that Mr. Pope’s discussion/lesson on attitude was on a Tuesday. Sadly, we were such a bunch of miscreants that we kept messing up each day and didn’t have recess for the remainder of the week.
By Herb Borkland
Andre Tippett’s immaculate professional football career is the stuff of sports legends.
A former University of Iowa All-American and 2008 NFL Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, Tippett got drafted in 1982 and went on to play 11 sea-sons — his entire pro career — for the New England Patriots. He was paid more than $1 million a year to create havoc for quarterbacks.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker appeared in five Pro Bowls (1984–88) and, from 1984–85, achieved 35 sacks, the highest two-season quarterback sack total by a linebacker in NFL history.
In 1984, he established a new team record for quarterback sacks with 18.5. In 1985, the Patriots, for the first time in the team’s history, advanced to the Super Bowl. Tippett’s outstanding defensive playing was a major contributing factor to the team’s success.
When Tippett retired after the 1993 season, his 100 career tackles, 18.5 sacks in a single season and 17...
By Melissa Torres
Think about your greatest successes in 2018. Now think about how you achieved them. Was it a goal you met? Perhaps it was a resolution you kept. No matter what it was, take a moment to ponder each step you took to accomplish it.
There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I was successful.” It’s not a false statement. You were successful. But, you didn’t do it all on your own. You had a person, a couple of people, or perhaps an entire team helping you achieve your goal.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit, but we weren’t meant to do life alone. I know that I tend to want to get things done by myself. It’s faster. It’s easier. I don’t have to explain it to anyone. I don’t have to follow up and make sure it gets done.
But the truth is that we need people on our team to support us: Someone to cheer us on, help us solve problems, encourage us to be better, and remind us of our own goals. We...
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